DIY Whisky Truffles -Thrifty, Easy And Deliciously Decadent
Mmmm…. Belgian truffles. The basic ingredients are not expensive, which makes them a thrifty gift option. They are delicious and decadent and actually very easy to make. The problem is that they contain cream – and cream goes off in a matter of days. So if you want a steady supply of truffles on hand at Christmas, you can only make them a day or two ahead. I did exactly this for years, spending Christmas Eve in a cloud of cocoa and a filthy temper as I coated them by the dozen. Then it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, truffles might freeze.
Guess what? It turns out truffle centres freeze beautifully! This lets you make your truffles way ahead of Christmas and has the added advantage that truffle centres are easier to coat in melted chocolate when they are frozen. Just take as many as you need out the freezer, coat them in melted chocolate and within minutes the coating has set and you are ready to pop them into a box or bag.
How To Make So-Easy-You-Can’t-Go-Wrong Whisky Truffles
1. Make Your Truffle Centres
Break up 100g of milk chocolate, or use 100g of milk chocolate buttons. In a bowl combine 15ml of single cream with 15 ml of whisky. Be sure to add the whisky to the cream first – if you pour it over the chocolate it will seize and be good for nothing but the bin. (Voice of experience, sadly.) Alternatively, use 30 ml of irish cream liqueur. (Note that this will give you a sweeter centre so you might want to use plain chocolate instead.) Add your bits of chocolate and place the bowl over a slightly smaller bowl filled with freshly-boiled water. Now leave it alone for 5 minutes.
Give it a gentle stir to combine the melted chocolate with the cream and whisky. If there are still tiny lumps of chocolate, leave it for a few more minutes. Stir gently again until you have a glossy, smooth bowl of chocolate loveliness.
Now leave it for a couple of hours. Get two teaspoons. Take a spoonful out of the bowl. Roll it between the two spoons to form a little ball. Place the ball on a baking tray. Repeat until you have nothing left in the bowl and a tray of little chocolate balls. Pop the tray into the freezer for at least 5 hours. Tip the little balls into a freezer bag, gently squeeze the air out and seal. They are now ready to take out as many or as few as you want whenever you need them.
2. Coat Your Whisky Truffles
Take It Easy
Chocolate can lose its temper when it gets heated (and at this time of year, who am I to judge?) Tempering is the process of melting chocolate to the right temperature, cooling it carefully, raising the temperature slightly again to exactly the right temperature and then allowing it to set. Does that sound fiddly? It is fiddly. Get it right, and you have lovely glossy chocolate that snaps brightly when broken. Get it wrong and you have dull chocolate with white patches that tastes a bit stale.
I want my whisky truffles NOW so I am not going to temper the chocolate to coat them. To be honest, even if I had time, I still wouldn’t bother for a truffle coating because I have learned [looks around to make sure nobody is listening] that you can cheat!
You can cheat by coating them in a layer of melted chocolate and then dropping them straight into a bowl of cocoa and giving them a gentle roll with a fork to coat. Any imperfections are covered by the powdery layer of cocoa. You can do the same with glimmer sugar. If it comes to that, you can do the same with a bashed up Flake, although this lacks the pizazz of glimmer sugar or the classiness of cocoa. Or you could take a chance on it and just coat them in white chocolate, which loses its temper less readily.
Or Take The Easy Route
Two words: cooking chocolate. I would never – never – recommend making a truffle centre with cooking chocolate. The centre is the main event and it is only ever going to be as good as the chocolate you make it with. (By the way, Aldi and Lidl do perfectly good chocolate for truffle centres – the Lidl Fair Trade brand is particularly good.) The coating is thin, and does not have to be such high quality. In particular, white cake covering is not such a vast taste-step away from regular white chocolate. Cooking chocolate is not actually chocolate – which means that it doesn’t need to be tempered. So melt and coat without fear – your truffles will look perfectly pretty.
How To Coat Your Truffles In Melted [ahem] Chocolate
You need three things – two bowls, two spoons and a supply of cocktail sticks. Fill one bowl with hot water and pop the other bowl on top. Fill with a small amount of chocolate to melt. Take a spoonful of melted chocolate, spear a truffle centre with a cocktail stick and drop it into the spoon.
Using two spoons, roll the truffle in the chocolate until it is coated. Stab it with cocktail stick, pick it up and tilt and swirl the melted chocolate around it until it begins to set. Using a second cocktail stick to free the first, pop it onto a cold plate. Repeat until you have a plate of lovely little truffles.
3. Package Your Whisky Truffles Like A Pro
Once they have set, pop them into a little cellophane bag, close with ribbon or a metallic twist tie and add a label with a handwritten use-by date on the back. (The use-by date is one week from the day you take them out the freezer.) I reckon whisky truffles cry out for these lovely tartan labels, free to downoad from eatdrinkchic. But then I would, wouldn’t I?
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